HGTV's Jasmine Roth Shares Her Secrets For Transforming Homes - Exclusive Interview

Jasmine Roth started building things with her father when she was young. Though neither of them were professionals in the trade, they would construct doghouses, kids' furniture, and treehouses on the weekends. Those long afternoons with Roth's father didn't just create fond memories, but also served as her early foray into the world of construction.

Over the years, Roth discovered that building a house to live in is much more complicated than putting a treehouse up in the backyard. Her first major project was her own residence, during which she learned the ins and outs of carpentry and homebuilding, as well as how the process as a whole actually works.

Fast-forward to today, and Roth has over 30 construction projects under her belt. She's also heading into her third season of fixing renovation disasters on her HGTV show, "Help! I Wrecked My House." In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Roth opened up about what she's learned from her mistakes, how to transform spaces into something special, and what she's excited for fans to see this season on her series.

How Jasmine Roth gained knowledge from her mistakes

Is there any advice that you would give to people who are in the midst of the homebuilding process?

Jasmine Roth: I wrote and published a book last year; it's called "House Story." And I [shared] all of my knowledge and all of the mistakes that I've made and all of the places where I've messed up, and then I've had to learn as I go ... And if I can help even one person not make those same mistakes, then that was the purpose of that book.

[There are] definitely things that can help a renovation go more successfully, one of which is having a plan. You'll see on my show, on "Help! I Wrecked My House," most of these people did not have a plan. Actually, none of them had a plan. And if it was a plan, it wasn't a good plan. And just demoing a house ... that's not a plan — that's a general thought. So having a really detailed plan, having a budget is super important. People don't really like to talk about money, but it is the thing that will make or break your renovation. And if you run out of money, it is a big deal.

That's good advice. Very good advice.

And then knowing your boundaries, right, knowing your limitations. And everybody's [limitations] are different. So I can't say, like, "Oh, well, this person was able to paint their whole house. You will be, too." That's not necessarily the case. Some people are great at painting. Some people are not great at painting. Some people have carpentry skills. Some people do not have carpentry skills. So I think it's just understanding where it makes sense to DIY something, do it yourself, and where it makes sense to call a professional.

Finding your personal style should be the first step

You had the show "Hidden Potential" where you helped turn cookie-cutter homes into something a little bit more unique. Do you have any advice for people who are trying to develop their own style and make a unique space for themselves?

Once you have a plan, the first step is to find your design style, because that's going to be your guiding light for the rest of your project. And if you don't have that, you're going to find yourself in this finished space that just feels like you went to the store and just bought everything that was on sale, because it's not going to be cohesive, it's not going to feel intentional.

There's your core design style, which is possibly what you already have. So if you live in a Tudor house, part of your design, whether you like it or not, is going to have to be some sort of Tudor, because you're not going to take all of that away. I mean, unless you have the money, go for it. But most people, if you live in a Cape Cod-style house or you live in a row brownstone in the city, or you live in whatever the style of your house is, that's the style of your house, whether you like it or not.

And so making that your core style is usually a good place to start. If your house is very traditional, if your house is very modern, you know that's going to be part of your design ... And then you could do all of these style add-ons. So yes, maybe your house is Tudor style, it's very traditional, but you love minimalist modern design. Well, then make it a modern Tudor. Make it a minimalist, modern Tudor. And if that's your style, then you have to stick with it throughout the entire project, so every decision that you make is based on that style.

Infuse your personality into your home

When it comes to adding personality to homes, is there one feature that you really love or prefer to add?

I'm a big believer [in] bringing in things that are vintage, [but] not everything. I don't want everything to be vintage. So, for example, if you have a space that's been renovated, [with] just clean, drywalled walls, new windows, new window treatments, nice new lights, but then maybe you work in something that's a little bit vintage so that it doesn't just feel like a model home that you walked into and has no personality. In my opinion, things that are vintage have a story, they have personality, they have character, and it's just an instant way to make your house feel really welcoming.

The other thing that I think is probably the most important part of any home renovation after the construction are photos. I believe that whether it's just a photo taped to the refrigerator, a small little frame from Target that [you] just put on your nightstand, I believe that every room should have some sort of personal photo, whether it's your family, whether it's your friends, whether it's your dog's nose, whether it's anything, really, a sunset. If it makes you happy and it makes you smile, it's going to be a win. And so if our houses are meant to make us happy, I believe that photos go a long way to reminding us what's important.

Yeah, photos definitely make it feel warm and not like a showroom.

[They're] the thing that everybody comments on, that everybody notices, no matter how dramatic the construction ... I take down walls, I add walls, I put up posts, I do all these different things. It's the photos that people comment on. They're like, "Oh my gosh, look at this framed photo of my family."

And I'm like, "Yeah, I went to FedEx and I printed that for $3 and I bought a $12 frame. So for $15, I made a difference. That's the first thing you noticed. And you just spent $100,000 on a remodel, but the thing you noticed is that photo." And it's just because it's personal and it's special, and that's the thing that makes people truly happy. So I believe that photos really do make a big difference.

Don't be afraid of combining styles

Do you have any tricks for combining styles, like if couples have two different styles or someone's looking to not just have one style throughout their house? Any tips on combining different styles into one cohesive look?

It's really, really hard. And so I think what I've learned to do is ... help my clients find the common ground where, yes, your style is maximalist, but everything doesn't have to be maximalist for you to be happy. And maybe his style is minimalist, but everything doesn't have to be minimalist for him to be happy.

I think that's a big challenge, people that have traditional design versus people that have a modern aesthetic or preference. And it's so hard to blend them ... especially in construction, where you're putting things in like cabinets and tile and faucets and countertops — things that you're not going to take out for 15 years and you're spending your life savings on. It's a really big deal and they're big decisions.

So usually, I'll send each person in the relationship on their own: "Find photos of things that you really like. I want you to pin 25 kitchens you like; I want you to pin 25 kitchens you like. And then we're going to print them all out or bring them all together, and we're going to figure out what it is for each kitchen that you like about it." And usually, you start to see there [are] things that both people actually like. And those are the things that go into the design. So at first, it feels like you're really on separate poles, but eventually, you start to find that common ground; you start to find things that you both like.

And then if you can get your actual construction design nailed down — right, because the renovation, that's construction design — if you can find construction design ... that both people are pleased with, then the décor can be a little bit more personal. And so maybe it's, "Okay, you get the kitchen. That's going to be minimalist, but I want our living room to be maximalist," right, so that everybody has somewhere where they feel really confident and comfortable.

But [with] the construction design, you can't split it. You can't do one room one way and one room the other. All the construction design has to be cohesive, and both partners have to be in on every decision.

Jasmine Roth believes in the power of paint

I've seen on your Instagram that you like to share a lot of tips with your followers. If there's one thing that you want people to know about upgrading their spaces, what would it be?

I would say the power of paint. Paint can make such a difference. And you'll see a few times on my show this season, we're almost done with the project and I decided to paint something, whether it was a wall, whether it was an alcove, whether it was a ceiling. There are a lot of opportunities with paint. It's the least expensive way to make a big impact. It's not permanent. And so I encourage people when they're feeling a little bit like, "Okay, I don't know what to do," think paint.

Do you have any advice on choosing a paint color?

It's so hard. Yeah, I mean, it can be permanent, yeah, like choosing an exterior house color is a big deal. So whether it's exterior or interior, you have to do samples. And they have to be big enough that you can see them on the wall. Stand way back, as far away from it as you can get, and look at it in different lights. Look at it in the morning, look at it midday, and look at it in the evening because what might look white in the morning might look pink in the middle of the day. And if you don't want a pink house, then maybe you shouldn't use that paint color

So I would say one of the things I've been using, and there's a bunch of different companies that do this, but there's adhesive samples that you can buy now, and they arrive the next day. So literally in the amount of time you could go to the paint store, get the little sample things, get your brushes, get your tape, come home, paint it on the wall of the house, clean it all up, you can just order it, and it arrives the next day. And you just stick it on the house. And it's so much easier. I use them all the time.

And then when you actually go to pick a color, if it's not just a neutral, if it's a yellow or a blue or an orange, find the color you like. So maybe I think, "Oh my goodness, my house would be so pretty if it was this color." Don't use that color, because this is going to look electric when it's on the wall. Go all the way down to the darkest version of that color, and use that one. Take the color you like and go like three shades darker, and that's probably what you're going to want to go with, because otherwise, it's just going to feel like a circus house.

Highlights from this season of Help! I Wrecked My House

The season premiere of your show is coming up soon. Is there one transformation that you're excited for fans to see?

Oh, my gosh. So we did 10 houses for clients that truly ... I mean, these are folks that they needed help. And it kind of runs the board. I had two single guys on my show this year, which I thought was really different. They just wanted a new house, and they decided to start a project on their own. And so it was fun to be able to help them, a couple of different families that just really got in over their heads.

And then we did one house that was actually for my own family, and it was kind of a last-minute addition to this season. And so I'm really excited. October 1st, it will air. I'm really excited about everybody getting to see that. We're calling it Hazel's Cozy Cabin ... [I'm] super excited.

We had so many folks that were reaching out to us. And obviously, we wish we could choose them all, but we tried to choose people that just really, really needed help. And so the wrecks are bigger, the renovations are bigger, and the transformations are bigger, for sure.

Season 3 of "Help! I Wrecked My House" premiers on Saturday, August 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV and is available to stream on Discovery+.